After a divorce, figuring out what happens next can be stressful, and even frightening. This might especially be true if you’re a parent trying to gain custody of your child.
In this article, we provide you with 5 qualities that you need to have in order to qualify for child custody in Utah. Whether you’re applying for sole custody or joint custody, this article will help you understand what you need to do to gain custody of your child (or children).
Child Custody in Utah
In Utah, divorce laws shape custodianship even if the parents of the child were never legally married. But as with all other federal laws concerning custody, Utah courts focus on who and what can benefit the child. That is, the court is concerned with the child’s best interests.
As with other states, the state of Utah has different forms of child custody. For the sake of time, this article will focus on sole or joint custody. Sole custody is when one of the parents gets full custody of the child. With this type of custody, there is no sharing of time with the child or other aspects that involve joint custody. Joint custody, on the other hand, involves sharing custody of the child, whether physical, material, or legal.
5 Factors that Qualify You For Child Custody in Utah
In our state, there are different factors that shape who gets custody of a child and whether joint-custody is possible. Here are 5 of the key factors that determine whether you, as a parent, will gain custody of your child. These qualities will help you avoid getting deemed as unfit.
1. You have no history of abuse (including neglect) and domestic violence
In order to qualify for custody, you will need to demonstrate that you will be able to keep the child safe physically, emotionally, and socially. If you have a history of abusing or neglecting the child (or children) or other members including adults in your family, then your desire to have custody of your child may be denied.
2. You do not have barriers to functioning as a parent including things like substance abuse
Struggling with active substance abuse can make it difficult to function as a parent. In order to protect the child and the child’s physical, emotional and social needs, a court may deny custody if they find that you are unfit to take care of your child due to substance abuse.
3. You have good parenting and co-parenting skills.
A court may also deem you unfit for custody of your child if you lack parenting skills. If a court rules in favor of joint-custody (which is often the case), they may also deny custody if you are unable to co-parent. This means you will need to be able to work with the child’s other parent in a civil manner.
5. Your child’s wishes and what your child wants
Keeping the child’s emotional and cognitive abilities in mind, the court will also consider what your child wants. For example, if your child states that a specific parent tends to engage with them more and that this parent is more responsive, the court will factor this into their ruling.
In Utah, the desires of a child are especially important in a ruling if the child is 14 years old or older because their maturity makes them more conscious and aware of their needs.
Looking for More Information on Getting Custody of Your Child?
If you’re looking for more information on getting custody of your child, check this and this out. Also be aware of the fact that while researching child custody can be helpful, you’ll need an expert who has training and experience in family law. At Kaufman, Nichols & Kaufman, we specialize in family law, so we know the different laws and regulations that apply to you and your family.
Reach out to us to find out:
- How to gain custody of your child
- How to avoid being deemed unfit as a parent
- The different family laws that apply to you and can help you gain custody of your child
What are you waiting for? We’re just a call or email away!